"No other purpose dominated my life any more, no destination, nothing but the gate across the street from my house. All I longed to do was to stand there and gaze at it, my eyes dripping with longing and unspeakable curiosity. My luck smiled down upon me and, almost every day, I was offered at least one new face felt to me like a heavenly light shining into my soul. For a child, like me, with limited horizons and places to go, the parade I observed was equivalent to evolution, each time with a magnificent victory. But my Pharaoh, my fairytale giant, was my favorite. He stood apart from the beginning, although I never understood why.” A journey into the past, into time and to the place of the great writer Naguib Mahfouz, through the eyes of a child who meets him again and again over the course of his life. A journey of self-awareness, consciousness and, above all, an evaluationof life. A new chronicle of the contemporary history of Egypt as it emerges from the works of a great teacher, but even more so through the prism of the paradoxical relationship that develops between the novel’s two central figures: open, without makeup, and yet so, so real.
By Persa Koumoutsi. 232 pages. Paperback. Psichogios publications.
About the author:
PERSA KOUMOUTSI was born in Cairo, Egypt, where she spent her childhood and graduated from high school. She studied English Literature at the Arab University of Cairo as well as Translation and Interpretation at the American University of Cairo. She moved to Greece in 1983 and for the first few years taught in secondary and higher education. Since 1992 she has been working professionally in literary translation, translating works from Arabic and English into Greek. She became well-known for her Greek translations of Literary Nobel Winner Naguib Mahfouz’s work as well as of Arabic poetry. She has also translated the Koran into Greek. In 2001 she was honoured with the C.P. Cavafi Prize. She is married and has two children. Persa Koumoutsi is a multicultural and highly talented author whose work possesses a distinct "Eastern" charm.